Sunday Night Spotlight: Peppermint Essential Oil

Sure it may remind you of Christmas and candy canes, but peppermint essential oils shouldn’t be limited to holiday-themed projects. Bramble Berry carries two types of peppermint essential oils, and while their differences are subtle, they can be important! Read on to learn more about both kinds of peppermint essential oil and how you can use them in a wide variety of projects.

Bramble Berry carries two types of peppermint essential oil: 1st Distillation and 2nd Distillation. Oils that have multiple distillations are often referred to as ‘redisilled’ or ‘rectified’. Distillation refers to the method of extracting the essential from the plant. During distillation, the oil is separated through vaporization and condensation. As their names suggest, one oil is distilled only once, while the other oil goes through the process twice, making for a sharper, more traditional mint scent.

The difference is in the smell. Whereas the 1st Distillation smells sweet like a candy cane, the 2nd Distillation smells more minty fresh, like peppermint gum. Both essential oils are grown locally in the northwest — Peppermint 1st Distilled is grown in our own Yakima, Wash., while the 2nd Distilled is from Idaho.

Both peppermint essential oils contain a high amount of menthol which causes a slight cooling sensation, making them a great option for wash off products such as soaps, shower gels and bath fizzies. The slight cooling sensation can be irritating in sensitive regions of the body, including the eye area and mucus membranes.

As part of our Happy Feet week, Peppermint 1st Distilled is 35% off with the coupon code ‘PRETTYPAWS.’ Because the menthol in peppermint essential oils causes a pleasant cooling sensation, it’s great for spa products (but please, nothing that goes near the eyes). Try it in the Cranberry Seed Foot Scrub, Rose Clay Foot Mask or the Invigorating Foot Soak.

Traditionally, peppermint has been used in blends to soothe sore muscles (thanks menthol!), and peppermint oil vapor is sometimes inhaled to treat symptoms of colds and coughs. To read more about peppermint and its possible therapeutic effects, take a look at this article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Both types of Peppermint Essential Oil hold up remarkably well in cold process and melt and pour soap. Take a look at a few of our favorite projects below:

Left: Butterfly Swirl Cold Process
Top: Frog Foot Swirl Cold Process
Bottom: Cool Yule Peppermint Loaf

Peppermint Essential Oils are also great for blending. Use them if you’re looking to add interest to sweet or fruity scents. Take a look at some combinations we’ve experimented with below!

 Peppermint Essential Oil Blends

 Pineapple Cilantro Fragrance Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil, 2nd Distilled

Sweet Meyer Lemon Fragrance Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, 1st Distilled

Dark Rich Chocolate Fragrance Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil, 1st Distilled

Ginger Lime Fragrance Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil, 2nd Distilled

Peppermint Essential Oil, 2nd Distilled and Lychee Red Tea

Peppermint Essential Oil, 2nd Distilled and Cedarwood Essential Oil

What kinds of projects have you used Peppermint Essential Oil in? Or, do you have a favorite blend to share?

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21 Comments

  1. Michael says

    I made a batch of cold process soap using peppermint essential oil and a smattering of poppy seeds, no coloring. It is absolutely wonderful and refreshing. I use it as a shower bar and it’s one of my most favorite soaps ever. It can bother very sensitive skin but, it just zings and tingles and leaves me feel refreshed. It’s especially nice in the warmer weather too. I also made the shower fizzies from a previous Soap Queen tutorial and they are great when you are stuffed up and need some aromatherapy.

  2. says

    I am curious to know if in your experience does peppermint eo go rancid faster than other essential oils? I have made 2 types of cp soap, super fatted 7% like I always do and the scent begins to smell off and stale. The color doesn’t stay as bright. Peppermint is the only eo I can’t make well ahead of time because it changes. Am I the only one? Thanks:)

    • Michael says

      I can only say that mine has turned out great. I superfat at 5% and have had lovely white bars of soap and the peppermint has really held up great. In fact I use less peppermint oil than usual because it is so potent.

    • says

      Hi Shannon!

      Like Lorna suggested, I wonder if some of your other oils have possibly gone bad? We have always had good luck with peppermint essential oil. I would be happy to help you troubleshoot further if you’d like :)

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  3. Cutter says

    I agree. I use peppermint all the time in CP and MP and it’s fine. I love a peppermint vanilla blend. Recently I made some jelly soap for the kids that was peppermint and chocolate – like the old After Eight chocolate mints – and they love it. And yes, one of the great things about peppermint is a little goes a long way.

  4. Sly says

    On your product description it says that 2nd Distill smells more like Candy Canes. Here you are saying that 1st distill smells more like Candy Canes.
    Which is correct?
    Thank you.

      • Sly says

        I see that you changed the BB web to reflect this… I wonder how long it has said that the 2nd distill smelled like candy cane?
        I have been using 2nd distill for a couple years when I wanted the candy cane scent, but never really got that scent…I guess I should have realized it was incorrect and tried the 1st distill for candy cane! Too bad it was written wrong for so long. ;-)

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Vontella!

      Some essential oils can be used in lip balm, and others cannot. The good news is Peppermint Essential Oil, 2nd Distill can be used!

      You’ll want to use .5-2% of the essential oil in your recipe.

      For example, if your recipe was 4 oz., this works out to be .08 oz. of essential oil (at a huge 2% usage rate) for the entire container of balm. It’s such a small amount and some scales can’t be that exact, so use a dropper and measure in milliliters. In this case, .08 oz. is roughly equivalent to 2.3 milliliters. Keep in mind, that is the usage rate for an entire 4 oz. container of lip balm!

      Because peppermint can have a cooling effect, you may want to use a smaller amount. Making a small test batch may help you find out the right amount for you. :)

      Sunday Night Spotlight: Flavoring Oils: http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/sunday-night-spotlight-flavoring-oils/

      Peppermint Essential Oil, 2nd Distill: http://www.brambleberry.com/Peppermint-Essential-Oil-2nd-Distill-P3832.aspx

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